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Australia Olli Fleet Challenge
Photo credit: Bridget De Maine

This week Local Motors headed to Australia to launch its fourth Olli Fleet Challenge! The internationally driven company has sparked interest from communities around the world, drumming up excitement for Olli, the world’s first co-created, self-driving, electric shuttle.

If you’re wondering why Australia was chosen, keeping reading! Australia has a diverse landscape with the potential to present unique use-cases, allowing Olli to flex its transportation muscles. There is a range of interest stemming from local government, private entities and organizations, and the Australian Fleet Challenge is the solution to meet their needs of easing transportation woes and traffic congestion.

Having more Olli on the roads is a surefast way to offer safe, reliable transportation whilst reducing emissions and pollution. Did the words “more Olli” catch your attention? We hope so!  Olli is in fact operating on roads in Australia.

Olli rolling around the city of Glenelg

After seeing Olli quietly navigate the shared-use path along Holdfast Bay, there’s a burgeoning demand for the smart, friendly, neighborhood mobility solution. Australia’s forward-thinking approach to developing policy and legislation for automated vehicles to legally and safely operate on roads is the catalyst to a future filled with less congestion, less pollution, and less vehicles on the roads.

Currently Australia suffers with major traffic congestion in a few cities, ranking first, Adelaide followed by Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth according to the National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA). Beyond traveling safely and being a sustainable source of transportation, Olli can assist with reclaiming time stolen from sitting in traffic.

Congested roads in Melbourne. Photo: News Corp Australia

Australia’s ambitious goal of nationally legalizing self-driving vehicles by 2020 is approaching fruition. Automated vehicles will indefinitely become a part of Australia’s infrastructure and Olli looks forward to claiming lanes on many of its roads. The eight passenger shuttle is reinventing mobility as we know it by offering a convenient and safe alternative to traditional modes of transportation – a keen reminder that the future is not near, it’s here. If your city, district, or campus is in need of an efficient, innovative transportation solution, we encourage you to enter the Olli Fleet Challenge.

Overseeing Australia’s Olli Fleet Challenge submissions is a panel of judges steeped in the advancement of transportation, the fluidity of cities, and the commuting experience of residents.

Michael Heath – Deputy Head of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra

Michael Heath is the acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra. He was previously Consul General in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Economic Unit Chief in Beijing, China, where he coordinated the U.S. Embassy’s role in the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue from 2010 to 2013. He has held previous overseas positions in Tanzania and Guyana. At the State Department in Washington D.C., he served as Senior Country Officer for Indonesia, and Trade and Investment Officer in the Bureau of African Affairs.

Mark Ullah – Industry Lead, Future Cities & Urban Mobility, Strategic Growth Markets for Telstra Enterprise in Brisbane

Mark is an industry thought leader, strategist and entrepreneur who is currently working at Telstra as an Industry Lead for Future Cities & Urban Mobility.  He is passionate about Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, Shared & On-Demand Mobility and the positive impact that it will have on the safe and efficient movement of people and goods in Australia. Mark gets excited about re-defining ideals, challenging the status quo and helping businesses thrive. He is a member of the Executive Steering Committee for ADVI (Australia & New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative), a Committee member with (ALC) Australian Logistics Council and holds several Directorships and Board positions.

Tony Mobbs, head of CTP insurance with Allianz Australia in Sydney

Tony is General Manager – CTP of Allianz Australia Insurance Limited. He has over 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry and during this time has had extensive commercial interaction with various levels of government regulators and industry bodies. Tony has previously been responsible for one of Allianz’ commercial motor and heavy motor portfolios and has a keen interest in the automation of vehicles and associated implications for the insurance industry.

Rita Excell, Executive Director at ADVI in Adelaide

Rita is the Executive Director of the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) Centre of Excellence and is responsible for delivering ADVI’s contribution to the safe and successful introduction of driverless vehicle technologies into Australia. Her prior roles include Regional Manager of ARRB Group’s South Australian office. In that role she managed key strategic policy projects for State Road Authorities and organizations responsible for public and private road infrastructure. She is currently the Vice President of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA), in addition to chairing the Audit and Risk Committee. Rita is also the Transport Expert for the Port Adelaide Enfield Council’s Development Assessment Panel, as well as a member of the New South Wales and South Australian Connected and Automated Vehicle Industry Reference Groups.

Applications are being accepted for the Olli Fleet Challenge in Australia through 27 March, 2019. The winner will be announced in April followed by a deployment of vehicles to their location for a three month period. To learn more about the challenge and how to enter, please visit our site at

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